Rust can be a tricky beast that can eat through anything from vehicle frames to your favorite knife if not taken care of swiftly. The question remains, though, can rust be removed permanently, or will it inevitably come back?
Yes, rust can be removed permanently by applying a thin layer of metal paste wax on the surface of the rusted item. The paste wax also works as a sealant and prevents the oxidation process from starting again in the future.
Also, rust can be removed by a process that physically scrapes it off the metal surface or chemically dissolves it using either acid or a mild alkali-based solution. The rust can then be prevented from re-forming by treating the metal with a protective coating, such as using oil spray.
If you are so bothered about removing rust from any of your devices, this article is for you. You will find out the stages of rust and the natural ways to get rid of rust on your devices.
Stages of Rust
There are different levels and phases at which the rusting of a metal can occur:
The dormant stage, as I would like to name it, is the stage where the rust is present but not evident in or on the metal. This means that the natural process of the metal reacting to air and moisture has occurred but would not be evident to the human eye until after the metal has been exposed to more air and moisture. At this stage, rust can be prevented from advancing by simply cleaning its surface, removing dirt, oil and grease. This simple act can serve as a preventive measure.
Surface Rust Stage
At this stage, the signs of rust get evident, ruining the fine finish of the metal. If the metal has been painted, sprayed or polished with a coating material, the coating begins to give way to cracks, dents or nicks and the customary reddish-brown powdery substance that indicates rust appears if the metal has not been painted, or sprayed. These signs give you a head-start on getting rid of the rust and restoring the metal to its former shine.
Scale Rust Stage
This is the stage where the rust has started affecting the metal, eating into its components and totally ruining not just the fine finish of the metal, but also the metal itself. If this stage is not immediately stopped from progressing, it can render the metal useless and subject it to quick condemnation. At a progressed level of scale rust, the metal may not be repairable as it would need a total replacement.
How To Get Rid Of Rust
Rust is usually not a welcome visitor where metals are concerned. It tends to disfigure and eventually destroy a metal if it is not immediately dealt with. There are chemicals that are specially made for the removal of rust. These chemicals can do the work with less stress and a short time. If you are worried about using chemicals on household equipment, there are other home remedies that do the job just as fine as the chemical agents. Some of these home remedies include vinegar, baking soda, potato, and lemon. These items can be found in supermarkets around you.
Vinegar is one of those easily accessible solutions to household problems and so it is no wonder that it can help you get rid of rust. To use vinegar, there are a few steps to take to make rust removal a successful mission.
- First off, you have to put your metal tools in a bowl of undiluted vinegar. The vinegar in the bowl has to cover the metal tools, meaning they have to drown in the vinegar. They should remain in the bowl of vinegar for about a day to ensure that the vinegar works on the rust thoroughly.
- After a day of drowning, or soaking, scrub the rust off the metal using a scouring sponge. This should help remove the rust easily. If the rust proves to be stubborn, you can apply elbow grease to the metal and try scrubbing again. If the rust still doesn’t come off, soak your metal tools in vinegar for a little longer and scrub again. This should do the trick.
- After the rust has come off, wash your metal tools with soap and water, rinse thoroughly and dry it off. Always store your metal tools in a cool and dry place.
Vinegar can only be used for household tools that are made of light metals.
To remove rust, baking soda is also a great option and also has a very simple application coupled with the fact that it can be gotten from close-by supermarkets or baking stores. To use baking soda to remove rust, follow these simple instructions.
- Put some baking powder in a bowl and add enough water to make it into a paste.
- Apply the baking soda paste on the rusted part of the metal, making sure the rusted spots are fully covered.
- Leave it on for about 45-60 minutes.
- Scrub it off with a scouring sponge, rinse off the rust and dry thoroughly, and viola! Your metal item is as good as new.
Potatoes contain oxalic acid which can serve as a good rust-removing agent. All you have to do is cut your potato in half and rub it over the rusted spot until it comes off. This method is best used for light or thin metal and it is one of the best methods because of its availability, you can get potatoes at any food store.
A combination of lemon and baking soda is a tactical way of getting rid of rust. All you have to do is:
- Mix the baking powder with the lemon juice until it forms a paste.
- Leave it on for about 30-45 minutes, scrub off the rust using a brush and then rinse it off.
- Thoroughly dry it off before putting it in storage.
To avoid rust, do well to always rid metal surfaces of grease, dirt, or any solvent.